Over 50 and Kicking Ass: Amazing Older FMC Books We Know You Will Love

Time doesn’t have to stand still once you hit over fifty. And adventure dares name an age. For these amazing older FMCs, life is just the beginning!

Fiction Recommendations
Three book covers --"Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun" by Sarah Ladipo Manyika, "Fledgling" by Octavia E. Butler, and "Aunty Lee's Delights" by Ovidia Yu sit in the center of a large bronze open-face time piece with gears, stars, and music notes.

So goes the saying, “You’re never too old to…” It’s never been truer than in stories featuring protags we wouldn’t usually think about — our distinguished elderly denizens. While youth is coveted, even in books, we forget that time does march on. But time doesn’t just stop. For these older women protagonists, their time is just beginning. From going through divorces to navigating life as they gracefully age, these FMCs aren’t just sitting around and waiting for life to end. Instead, they are taking it by the reins and showing us youngins how to handle the other side of 50 with style, grace, and a bit of mischief. Let’s get into these amazing older FMC books we know you will most certainly love to read and appreciate with age.

85 and Taking Chances: The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons

Eighty-five-year-old Eudora is done with the world. After suffering the indignities of old age, her end will come on her terms. She’s already made plans with a clinic in Switzerland, and Eudora is ready to put this noisy world behind her. But when Eudora meets 10-year-old Rose, a wondrous whirlwind of cheer, Eudora thinks she wants nothing to do with her; she just wants to be left in peace. Instead, Eudora finds herself embarking on adventures with Rose and their newly widowed neighbor, Stanley.

An elderly woman sits on a white surface while next to her, a child looks as if she is about to jump into a pool. There are orange leaves hanging off the sides of the cover. The title is in white letters at the top. The author's name is in white letters at the bottom.

From shopping sprees to afternoon tea and trips to the beach, the mismatched trio of BFFs grow quite close. As the due date for Rose’s new baby sister draws near, Eudora begins to reminisce about her childhood and realize what fate awaits her. How can she say goodbye now that her zest for life has been rekindled? Journey with Eudora as her spark for life is lit anew, even as she faces life’s finale.

What It Means To Be 80: Unexpectedly Eighty: And Other Adaptations by Judith Viorst

The title sits across the top middle of the cover in large, white letters. The author's name sits near the bottom middle in large, yellow letters. There are small drawings of a car, heart, and champagne in a bucket in various places on the cover. Everything is set against a light teal/green background.

Author Judith Viorst brings humor, wisdom, and self-reflection to this amazing collection of poetry as she talks about friendships, love, and all of the marvels that 80 brings with it. Through new eyes (thanks to cataract surgery), this vibrant poet and grandmother speaks about her new view of the world, cheerfully affirming that it’s not too late to dream big, to drink, flirt, dance, and even take up with a younger man of 78! Dive into Viorst’s effervescent, hopeful, and fun take on what it means to be eighty, the joys and frustrations of life, in this incredibly inspiring collection full of her revelations through the decades.

Elderly-Grandmother-Turned-Detective: Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey

Maud may be an aging grandmother who’s losing her memory — and perhaps her grip on life — but she’s convinced her best friend, Elizabeth, is missing and in grave danger. No one will listen. Not her daughter, her caretakers, the police, and certainly not Elizabeth’s son, Peter. With handwritten letters that she leaves herself in tow, Maud is urged on her quest to discover the truth and find her friend, whom she believes needs her help.

A woman wearing a skirt, sweater, and retro heels leans against a wall. She stands in a hallway of sorts. The title is set like ripped paper across the center in black and red letters. The author's name is at the bottom in black letters.

As she embarks on this mystery, Maud is driven deeper into another possible mystery from her past — the unsolved disappearance of her sister, Sukey, who vanished more than 50 years ago. Spurred on by the resurgence of vivid memories, Maud wonders if Sukey’s disappearance is somehow connected to Elizabeth’s. Peek into this mystery and discover the truth along with Maud in Elizabeth Is Missing.

88 and Mischievous: An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten and Marlaine Delargy

An embroidered beige cover is the background for embroidered red letters that make up the title. There are hearts and line designs in black surrounding the cover. Two small skull and bones in black sit against the top of the cover. The author's name sits at the bottom in black embroidered letters.

Living a carefree life in her family’s spacious apartment since the age of 18, all thanks to her dear father’s untimely demise and a small clause from a hastily drawn-up contract, Maud finds contentment surfing the internet. Now in her late eighties, she leads a life of peaceful solitude, only getting herself into slight mischief as she takes on a local celebrity eyeing her apartment, derails a former lover’s engagement, and “takes care” of some vexing neighbors. But when authorities are alerted to a dead body found in Maud’s home, will she finally become suspect #1? Settle into this humorous book all about a little old woman who’s up to no good.

Living Life Vibrantly at 75: Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika

A flower made up of teal and purple petals sit in the left corner. The center made up of the sun. Two petals --teal and purple-- fall from the flower. The flower sits against a scratchy yellow background. The title and author's name are written in white letters set against a black background.

Journey with Dr. Moraya de Silva, a 75-year-old Nigerian woman living in San Francisco who revels in her independence and has quite the zest for life road-tripping in her vintage Porche. That is until a car crash forces her to reassess her experiences and summon up memories from her past in this exploration of life, love, loss, and aging.

Elderly and Alone Doesn’t Mean Aimless: Aunty Lee’s Delights by Ovidia Yu

Despite being widowed, Aunty Rosie Lee refused to become one of Singpore’s “tai tai’s,” those rich, idle women with aimless lives spent shopping and playing mah-jongg all day. Instead, she stepped out on a limb to build up a culinary empire from her Aunty Lee’s Delights restaurant, where she personally serves locals and tourists alike spicy, homecooked Singaporean food.

A white ceramic bowl with a red substance inside sits on a decorative pink and white surface. The cover to the bowl sits near the bowl with a light blue design on it. The title sits near the top in formal white letters set against a grayish green background. The author's name is at the bottom in yellow letters across a deep pink background.

But the discovery of a body in one of Singapore’s tourist havens and the absence of a wealthy guest from Aunty Lee’s dinner party throw her into a tailspin. Even more suspicious are her stepson and his wife, a gay couple whose love is against the law, and an elderly Australian couple whose presence may disguise a more nefarious purpose. Alongside rookie police commissioner Raja, a well-connected Aunty Lee is on the case. Find out who has done it in this charming, fun mystery featuring a savvy old woman and her restaurant of spicy delights in Aunty Lee’s Delights.

Savvy at 85: Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

A woman wearing a blue hat and red coat stands against a bright blue background. The title and author's name are written across front of the woman's red coat.

For 85-year-old Lillian, the last night of 1984 turns into one of the most introspective nights for this elderly woman, who’s risen from writing copy for R.H. Macy’s to being the highest-paid advertising woman in the country. Now, on this chilly evening, dressed in her mink coat, Lillian is headed to a party. On a 10-mile walk around New York City, where a subway vigilante prowls, a fearless Lillian meets bartenders, bodega clerks, parents-to-be, criminals, and security guards alike as she reminisces on both exciting and adverse times in her life and how New York has and hasn’t changed throughout her time. After all, for now, the night is still young.

Age Is in the Eye of the Beholder: Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler

A young Black girl with an afro and fiery orange eye sits in the center of an orange background. She wears a stark white shirt. An orange bird sits on her shoulder. The title in large, black letters across the bottom of the cover. The author's name sits across the top in large, white letters.

She looks young and may be struggling with amnesia, yet she has unnaturally unhuman needs and abilities. The truth is, she’s not human at all but a genetically modified 53-year-old vampire! Now, she’s forced to unearth what she can about her stolen former life. But someone wanted, and still wants to, destroy her and everyone she loves. Is there any way to save herself? Immerse yourself in Octavia Butler’s gothic novel full of horror and beauty.

From these amazing stories of older women displaying all of what it means to kick ass beyond 50, you learn new ways to live life, get into petty troubles, enjoy being grandparents, reflect on past loves and lives, discover new things about the world, and even go on an unquenchable thirst for understanding who you are. Because you’re never too old to live life the way you want to.

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